Covid-19 Delta variant continues to wreak havoc

The Covid-19 Delta variant, first detected in India in December 2020 continues to wreak havoc across the globe, World Health Organisation (WHO) said Wednesday.

Over 80 percent of the spiralling Covid-19 third wave infections across the world including Zimbabwe have been attributed to the Delta strain.

To date, over 192 million people in the world have been infected by Covid-19, while 4.13 million of them have since succumbed to the pandemic.

In Zimbabwe, Covid-19 infections stand at 91, 120 including 2,809 deaths.

Giving opening remarks at the World Trade Organisation (WTO)-WHO high-level dialogue on expanding Covid-19 vaccine manufacture to promote equitable access, yesterday, WHO director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world was in the early stages of another wave of infections and deaths.

“The Delta variant is wreaking havoc around the world,” decried Ghebreyesus.

“Between now and when we finish our discussion today, more than 1500 people will die from Covid-19. How can this be, 19 months into the pandemic, and 7 months since the first vaccines were approved?”

He further said: “Without doubt, the development, approval and rollout of safe and effective vaccines against Covid-19 less than a year after the first reported cases is a stunning scientific achievement, and a much-needed source of hope for bringing the pandemic under control. But there remains a shocking imbalance in the global distribution of vaccines. This has created a two-track pandemic: the haves are opening up, while the have-nots are locking down.”

He said while over 3.5 billion vaccines have been distributed globally, more than 75 percent of those have gone to just 10 countries.

“Vaccine inequity is not only a moral failure, it is also epidemiologically and economically self-defeating,” said the WHO chief.

“Of course, vaccines alone cannot solve the pandemic. Rapid diagnostics and life-saving therapeutics are also vital.”

Ghebreyesus said he is often asked when the pandemic end will. 

“It will end when the world chooses to end it because the solutions are in our hands,” he said.

“We have all the tools we need: proven public health and social measures; rapid and accurate diagnostics; effective therapeutics including oxygen; and of course, powerful vaccines.”

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